Woodstock Martial Arts

Woodstocks Best School for Karate and Kobudo





Kobudo or "Ancient Martial Way", is the study of Okinawan weapons for self protection. Our Dojo is a proud member of the Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai (OKDR), a world-wide organization that allows us access to this truly rare and awesome art. At Woodstock Martial Arts Kobudo is taught as its own art with its own grading curriculum and syllabus. Students are not requried to also study Karate , but must be at least 13 to train in Kobudo.

 We are trained in this art by Sensei Mike Sywyk (4th Dan) and Senpai Ian Taylor (3rd Dan) both of Ottawa, Ontario. Sensei Mike is a student of Kyoshi Neil Stolsmark (8th Dan) of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Kyoshi Stolsmark is the direct student of OKDR Founder Yoshiaki Gakiya (8th Dan) of Okinawa.

 Kobudo is taught using Hojo Undo and Kata (basic movments/combinations and pre-arranged forms, both individually and in two person versions)


  Below are images of the weapons studied in the OKDR:



 BO: Originated with the tembin, a stick held across the shoulders usually with buckets hanging from each end and used to convey food, water etc. when the need arose, the tembin or the bo as it is known today was manipulated to strike or block in techniques.  

SAI: is which is a three-pronged metal truncheon, were often used in sets of two or three for the purpose of entrapping an attacker's weapon and using the pronged ends in a jabbing, puncturing strike. Although the exact origin of the sai is obscure, it closely resembles an instrument that was used in China, and is also believed to have been derived from a farming implement that was used for digging furrows in the ground for planting seeds. A third sai was often carried behind the back in the belt sash (obi) as a replacement for a hand-held sai that was thrown.

TONFA: Used as a handle to turn the hand operated millstone when grinding rice. It is a tapered hard wood billet between 15 to 21 inches in length with a short projecting side handle set about 6 inches down the billet.

NUNCHAKU: The nunchaku is constructed of two hard-wood sticks which were securely connected by rope braided from horses tails. In a defensive situation, it could be used to strike, block, hit, twist and pinch.

 Eku or (Ieku): a common boat oar manipulated similar to the bo.  As Kobudo was derived from farming and fishing tools, the eku was and is a popular weapon.

Kuwa: is  a weapon unique to Matayoshi Kobudo.  A four foot garden hoe, the kuwa is manipulated similar to the Bo.

Nunti: (fishing spear) is used in a similar fashion to the Bo.  The 15" central staff has two prongs, One facing away and one facing toward the opponent.  It can be used to spear, strike, or hook the opponent with the backward prong.

 KAMA: is rice-harvesting hand sickle, which has a short blade set at right angle to a hardwood handle. This weapon was used either single or in pairs for close work, when it could slash, hook, chop, or deflect in a wide range of basic combination tactics. 

Suruchin: is a six foot piece of hemp rope with rocks secured to the ends, used for long range defense, trapping and striking. 

Sansetsukon: or three sectional staff can be used as a long ranged weapon and swung freely or a short lunge weapon when two sections are held and used to strike or parry. 

Tinbei and Rochin: is a sword or spear (or short sword), and shield.  This weapon combination has Chinese roots. 


 OKINAWA KOBUDO Doushi Rensei-Kai;

This is an organization of people who pursue maturity of one's personality through learning Okinawa Kobudo.

Doushi: People who have the same will, comrades.

Rensei: Train your body and soul.

The meaning of the crest: The symbol in the center is called "Hidari Mitsu-Domoe (three souls circling clockwise) which is the crest of Ryukyu (Okinawa) royal families, and we decorate nine crowns around the symbol. Our crest expresses the hope that Okinawa Kobudo, the traditional Okinawa martial arts, will expand and develop through out the world by Kushu-Rengyou and Kugyou-Kyukyoku of our comrades.


Kushu-Rengyou: Be skilled in martial arts through many years of training.

Kugyou-Kyukyoku: Master the true martial arts through unbearable practice.

*Nine crowns and Kushu-Rengyou, Kugyou-Kyukyoku Nine crowns express Kushu-Rengyou and Kugyou-Kyukyoku by using the same beginning sounds of each of the words. (Nine is pronounced "Ku" in Japanese).


On January 1, 2002, the Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai was founded. The OKDR is devoted to the study and preservation of this treasured art of Kobudo. Kyoshi Stolsmark serves as President of the Okinawa Kobudo Doushi Rensei-kai and has branch divisions in Canada, America, Australia, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Portugal, England, Okinawa, Japan and other countries.